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Normandy

An ancient French province, from which five "departments" were formed in 1790: Seine-Inférieure ( Archdiocese of Rouen ), Eure ( Diocese of Evreux ), Calvados ( Diocese of Bayeux ), Orne ( Diocese of Séez ), Manche ( Diocese of Coutances ). The Normans, originally Danish or Norwegian pirates, who from the ninth to the tenth century made numerous incursions into France, gave their name to this province. In the Gallo-Roman period Normandy formed the so-called second Lyonnaise province ( Secunda Lugdunensis ). At Thorigny within the territory of this province was found an inscription very important for the history of the worship of the emperors in Gaul and of the provincial assemblies; the latter, thus meeting for this worship, kept up a certain autonomy throughout the conquered territory of Gaul. Under the Merovingians the Kingdom of Neustria annexed Normandy. About 843 Sydroc and his bands of pillagers opened the period of Northman invasions. The policy of Charles the Bald in giving money or lands to some of the Northmen for defending his land against other bands was unfortunate, as these adventurers readily broke their oath. In the course of their invasions they slew (858) the Bishop of Bayeux and (859) the Bishop of Beauvais. The conversion (862) of the Northman, Weland, marked a new policy on the part of the Carlovingians; instead of regarding the invaders as intruders it was admitted that they might become Christians. Unlike the Saracens, then disturbing Europe, the Northmen were admitted to a place and a rôle in Christendom.

The good fortune of the Northmen began with Rollo in Normandy itself. It was long believed that Rollo came by sea into the valley of the Seine in 876, but the date is rather 886. He destroyed Bayeux, pillaged Lisieux, besieged Paris, and reached Lorraine, finally establishing himself at Rouen, where a truce was concluded. His installation was considered so definitive that in the beginning of the tenth century Witto, Archbishop of Rouen, consulted the Archbishop of Reims as to the means of converting the Northmen. Rollo's settlement in Normandy was ratified by the treaty of St. Clair-sur-Epte (911), properly speaking only a verbal agreement between Rollo and Charles the Simple. As Duke of Normandy Rollo remained faithful to the Carlovingian dynasty in its struggles with the ancestors of the future Capetians. These cordial relations between the ducal family of Normandy and French royalty provoked under Rollo's successor William Long-sword (931-42) a revolt of the pagan Northmen settled in Cotentin and Bessin. One of their lords ( jarls ), Riulf by name was the leader of the movement. The rebels reproached the duke with being no longer a true Scandinavian and "treating the French as his kinsmen". Triumphant for a time, they were finally muted and the aristocratic spirit of the jarls had to bow before the monarchical principles which William Long-sword infused into his government.

Another attempt at a revival of paganism was made under Richard I Sans Peur (the Fearless, 942-96). He was only two years old at his father's death. A year later (943) the Scandinavian Setric, landing in Normandy with a band of pirates, induced a number of Christian Northmen to apostatize ; among them, one Turmod who sought to make a pagan of the young duke. Hugh the Great, Duke of France, and Louis IV, King of France, defeated these invaders and after their victory both sought to set up their own power in Normandy to the detriment of the young Richard whom Louis IV held in semi-captivity at Laon. The landing in Normandy of the King of Denmark, Harold Bluetooth, and the defeat of Louis IV, held prisoner for a time (945), constrained the latter to sign the treaty of Gerberoy, by which the young Duke Richard was reestablished in his possessions and became, according to the chronicler Dudon de Saint-Quentin, a sort of King of Normandy. The attacks later directed against Richard by the Carlovingian King Lothaire and Thibaut le Tricheur, Count of Chartres, brought a fresh descent on France of the soldiers of Harold Bluetooth. Ascending the Seine these Danes so devastated the country of Chartres that when they withdrew, according to the chronicler Guillaume of Jumièges, there was not heard even the bark of a dog. When Eudes of Chartres, brother-in-law of Richard II the Good, again threatened Normandy (996-1020) it was once more the Scandinavian chieftains, Olaf of Norway and Locman, who came to the duke's aid. So attached were these Scandinavians to paganism that their leader Olaf, having been baptized by the Archbishop of Rouen, was slain by them. Although they had become Christian, all traces of Scandinavian paganism did not disappear under the first dukes of Normandy. Rollo walked barefoot before the reliquary of St. Oueu, but he caused many relies to be sold in England, and on his death-bed, according to Adhémar de Chabannes, simultaneously caused prisoners to be sacrificed to the Scandinavian gods and gave much gold to the churches. Richard I was a great builder of churches, among them St. Ouen and the primitive cathedral of Rouen, St. Michel du Mont, and the Trinity at Fécamp. Richard II, zealous for monastic reform, brought from Burgundy Guillaume de St. Bénigne; the Abbey of Fécamp, reformed by him, became a model monastery and a much frequented school.

All these dukes protected the Church, but the feudal power of the Church, which in many States at that time limited the central power, was but little developed in Normandy, and it was to their kinsmen that the dukes of Normandy most often gave the Archdiocese of Rouen and other sees. Ecclesiastical life in Normandy was vigorous and well-developed; previous to the eleventh century the rural parishes were almost as numerous as they are today. Thus Normandy for nearly a century and a half was at once a sort of promontory of the Christian world in face of Scandinavia and at the same time a coign of Scandinavia thrust into the Christian world. Henceforth those Danes and Scandinavians who under the name of Normans formed a part of Christendom, never called pagan Danes or Scandinavians to their aid unless threatened in the possession of Normandy; under their domination the land became a stronghold of Christianity. The monastery of Fontenelle pursued its religious and literary activity from the Merovingian period. The "Chronicon Fontanellense", continued to 1040, is an important source for the history of the period. The ducal family of Normandy early determined to have an historiographer whom they sought in France, one Dudon, dean of the chapter of St. Quentin, who between 1015-30 wrote in Latin half verse, half prose, a history of the family according to the traditions and accounts transmitted to him by Raoul, Count of Ivry grandson of Rollo and brother of Richard I Alinea. Duke Robert the Devil (1027-35) was already powerful enough to interfere efficaciously in the struggles of Henry I of France against his own brother and the Counts of Champagne and Flanders. In gratitude the king bestowed on Robert the Devil, Pontoise, Chaumont en Vexin, and the whole of French Vexin. It was under Robert the Devil that the ducal family of Normandy first cast covetouss glances towards England. He sent an embassy to Canute the Great, King of England, in order that the sons of Ethelred, Alfred and Edward, might recover their patrimony. The petition having been denied he made ready a naval expedition against England, destroyed by a tempest. He died while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre.

It was reserved for his son William the Bastard, later called William the Conqueror, to make England a Norman colony by the expedition which resulted in the victory of Hastings or Senlac (1066). It seemed, then, that in the second half of the eleventh century a sort of Norman imperialism was to arise in England, but the testament of William the Conqueror which left Normandy to Robert Courte-Heuse and England to William Rufus, marked the separation of the two countries. Each of the brothers sought to despoil the other; the long strife which Robert waged, first against William Rufus, afterwards against his third brother Henry I Beauclerc, terminated in 1106 with the battle of Tinchebray, after which he was taken prisoner and brought to Cardiff. Thenceforth Normandy was the possession of William I, King of England, and while forty years previous England seemed about to become a Norman country, it was Normandy which became an English country; history no longer speaks of the ducal family of Normandy but of the royal family of England. Later Henry I, denounced to the Council of Reims by Louis VI of France, explained to Callistus II in tragic terms the condition in which he had found Normandy. "The duchy", said he, "was the prey of brigands. Priests and other servants of God were no longer honoured, and paganism had almost been restored, in Normandy. The monasteries which our ancestors had founded for the repose of their souls were destroyed, and the religious obliged to disperse, being unable to sustain themselves. The churches were given up to pillage, most of them reduced to ashes, while the priests were in hiding. Their parishioners were slaying one another." There, may have been some truth in this description of Henry I; however, it is well to bear in mind that the Norman dukes of the eleventh century, while they had prepared and realized these astounding political changes, had also developed in Normandy, with the help of the Church, a brilliant literary and artistic movement.

The Abbey of Bec was for some time, under the direction of Lanfranc and St. Anselm, the foremost school of northern France. Two Norman monasteries produced historical works of great importance; the "Historia Normannorum" written between 1070-87 by Guillaume Calculus at the monastery of Jumièges ; the "Historia Ecclesiastica" of Ordericus Vitalis , which begins with the birth of Christ and ends in 1141, written at the monastery of St. Evroult. The secular clergy of Normandy emulated the monks ; in a sort of academy founded in the second half of the eleventh century by two bishops of Lisieux, Hugues of Eu and Gilbert Maminot, not only theological but also scientific and literary questions were discussed. The Norman court was a kind of Academy and an active centre of literary production. The chaplain of Duchess Matilda, Gin de Ponthieu, Bishop of Amiens, composed in 1067 a Latin poem on the battle of Hastings; the chaplain of William the Conqueror, William of Poitiers, wrote the "Gesta" of his master and an extant account of the First Crusade is due to another Norman, Raoul de Caen, an eyewitness. At the same time the Norman dukes of the eleventh century restored the buildings, destroyed by the invasions of their barbarian ancestors, and a whole Romance school of architecture developed in Normandy, extending to Chartres, Picardy, Brittany, and even to England. Caen was the centre of this school ; and monuments like the Abbaye aux Hommes and the Abbaye aux Dames, built at Caen by William and Matilda, mark an epoch in the history of Norman art.

In the course of the twelfth century the political destinies of Normandy were very uncertain. Henry I of England, master of Normandy from 1106-35, preferred to live at Caen rather than in England. His rule in Normandy was at first disturbed by the partisans of Guillaume Cliton, son of Robert Courte-Heuse, and later by the plot concocted against him by his own daughter Matilda, widow of Emperor Henry V, who had taken as her second husband Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou. When Henry I died in 1135 his body was brought to England ; his death without male heirs left Normandy a prey to anarchy. For this region was immediately disputed between Henry Plantagenet, grandson of Henry I through his mother Matilda, and Thibaut of Champagne, grandson of William the Conqueror through his mother Adèle. After nine years of strife Thibaut withdrew in favour of his brother Stephen who in 1135 had been crowned King of England. But the victories of Geoffrey Plantagenet in Normandy assured (1144) the rule of Henry Plantagenet over that land, which being thenceforth subject to Angevin rule, seemed destined to have no further connexion with England. Suddenly Henry Plantagenet, who in 1152 had married Eleanor (Aliénor) of Aquitaine, divorced from Louis VII of France, determined to assert his rights over England itself. The naval expedition which he conducted in 1153 led Stephen to recognize him as his heir, and as Stephen died at the end of that same year Henry Plantagenet reigned over all the Anglo-Norman possessions, his territorial power being greater than that of the kings of France. A long series of wars followed between the Capetians and Plantagenets, interrupted by truces. Louis VII wisely favoured everything which paralyzed the power of Plantagenet, and supported all his enemies. Thomas à Becket and the other exiles who had protested against the despotism which Henry exercised against the Church, found refuge and help at the court of France ; and the sons of Henry in their successive revolts against their father in Normandy, were supported first by Louis VII and then by Philip Augustus.

The prestige of the Capetian kings grew in Normandy when Richard Cœur de Lion succeeded Henry II in 1189. Philip Augustus profited by the enmity between Richard and his brother John Lackland to gradually establish French domination in Normandy. A war between Richard and Philip Augustus resulted in the treaty of Issoudun (1195) by which Philip Augustus acquired for the French crown Norman Vexin and the castellanies of Nonancourt, Ivry, Pacy, Vernon, and Gaillon. A second war between John Lackland, King of England in 1199 and Philip Augustus, was terminated by the treaty of Goulet (1200), by which John Lackland recovered Norman Vexin, but recognized the French king's possession of the territory of Evreux and declared himself the "liege man " of Philip Augustus . Also when in 1202 John Lackland, having abducted Isabella of Angoulême, refused to appear before Philip Augustus, the court of peers declared John a felon, under which sentence he no longer had the right to hold any fief of the crown. Philip II Augustus sanctioned the judgment of the court of peers by invading Normandy which in 1204 became a French possession. The twelfth century in Normandy was marked by the production of important works, chief of which was the "Roman de Rou" of Robert or rather Richard Wace (1100-75), a canon of Bayeux. In this, which consists of nearly 17,000 lines and was continued by Benoît de Sainte-More, Wace relates the history of the dukes of Normandy down to the battle of Tinchebray. Mention must also be made of the great French poem which the Norman Ambroise wrote somewhat prior to 1196 on the Jerusalem pilgrimage of Richard Cœur de Lion. As early as the twelfth century Normandy was an important commercial centre. Guillaume de Neubrig wrote that Rouen was one of the most celebrated cities of Europe and that the Seine brought thither the commercial products of many countries. The "Etablissements de Rouen " in which was drawn up the "custom" adopted by Rouen, were copied not only by the other Norman towns but by the cities with which Rouen maintained constant commercial intercourse, e.g. Angoulême, Bayonne, Cognac, St. Jean d'Angély, Niort, Poitiers, La Rochelle, Saintes, and Tours. The ghilde of Rouen, a powerful commercial association, possessed in England from the time of Edward the Confessor the port of Dunegate, now Dungeness, near London, and its merchandise entered London free.

Once in the power of the Capetians, Normandy became an important strategical point in the struggle against the English, masters of Poitou and Guyenne in the south of France. Norman sailors were enrolled by Philip VI of France for a naval campaign against England in 1340 which resulted in the defeat of Ecluse. Under John II the Good, the States of Normandy, angered by the ravages committed by Edward III of England on his landing in the province voted (1348-50) subsidies for the conquest of England. The Valois dynasty was in great danger when Charles the Bad, King of Navarre, who possessed important lands in Normandy, succeeded in 1356 in detaching from John II of France a number of Norman barons. John II appraising the danger came suddenly to Rouen, put several barons to death, and took Charles the Bad prisoner. Shortly afterwards Normandy was one of the provinces of France most faithful to the Dauphin Charles, the future Charles V, and the hope the English entertained in 1359 of seeing Normandy ceded to them by the Preliminaries of London was not ratified by the treaty of Brétigny (1360); Normandy remained French. The victories of Charles V consolidated the prestige of the Valois in this province. In 1386 Normandy furnished 1387 vessels for an expedition against England never executed. In 1418 the campaign of Henry V in Normandy was for a long time paralyzed by the resistance of Rouen, which finally capitulated in 1419, and in 1420 all Normandy became again almost English.

The Duke of Clarence, brother of Henry V of England, was made lieutenant-general in the province. Henry VI and the Duke of Bedford founded a university at Caen which had faculties of canon and civil law, to which Charles VII in 1450 added those of theology, medicine, and arts. This last attempt at English domination in Normandy was marked by the execution at Rouen of Blessed Joan of Arc. English rule, however, was undermined by incessant conspiracies, especially on the part of the people of Rouen, and by revolts in 1435-36. The revolt of Val de Vire is famous and was the origin of an entire ballad literature, called "Vaux de Vire", in which the poet Oliver Basselin excelled. These songs, which later became bacchic or amorous in character, and which subsequently developed into the popular drama known as "Vaudeville", were in the beginning chiefly of an historical nature recounting the invasion of Normandy by the English. Profiting by the public opinion of which the "Vaux de Vire" gave evidence, the Constable de Richemont opposed the English on Norman territory. His long and arduous efforts in 1449-50 made Normandy once more a French province. Thenceforth the possession of Normandy by France was considered so essential to the security of the kingdom that Charles the Bold, for a time victorious over Louis XI, in order to weaken the latter, exacted in 1465 that Normandy should be held by Duke Charles de Berry, the king's brother and leader of those in revolt against him; two years later Louis XI took Normandy from his brother and caused the States General of Tours to proclaim in 1468 that Normandy could for no reason whatever be dismembered from the domain of the crown. The ducal ring was broken in the presence of the great judicial court called the Echiquier (Exchequer) and the title of Duke of Normandy was never to be borne again except by Louis XVII, the son of Louis XVI.

The Norman school of architecture from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century produced superb Gothic edifices chiefly characterized by the height of their spires and bell-towers. Throughout the Middle Ages Normandy, greatly influenced by St. Bernard and the Cistercians was distinguished for its veneration of the Blessed Virgin. It was under her protection that William the Conqueror placed his expedition to England. One of the most ancient mural paintings in France is in the chapel of the Hospice St. Julien at Petit-Quevilly, formerly the manor chapel of one of the early dukes of Normandy, portraying the Annunciation, the Birth of Christ, and the Blessed Virgin suckling the Infant Jesus during the flight into Egypt. As early as the twelfth century Robert or rather Richard Wace wrote the history of Mary and that of the establishment of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Norman students at Paris placed themselves under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception which thus became the "feast of the Normans"; this appellation does not seem to date beyond the thirteenth century. During the modern period the Normans have been distinguished for their commercial expeditions by sea and their voyages of discovery. As early as 1366 the Normans had established markets on the coast of Africa and it was from Caux that Jean de Béthencourt set out in 1402 for the conquest of the Canaries. He opened up to Vasco da Gama the route to the Cape of Good Hope and to Christopher Columbus that to America. Two of his chaplains, Pierre Bontier and Jean le Verrier, gave an account of his expedition in a manuscript known as "Le Canarien", edited in 1874. Jean Ango, born at Dieppe about the end of the fifteenth century, acquired as a ship-owner a fortune exceeding that of many princes of his time. The Portuguese having in time of peace, seized (1530) a ship which belonged to him, he sent a flotilla to blockade Lisbon and ravage the Portuguese coast. The ambassador sent by the King of Portugal to Francis I to negotiate the matter, was referred to the citizen of Dieppe. Ango was powerful enough to assist the armaments of Francis I against England. He died in 1551.

Jean Parmentier (1494-1543), another navigator and a native of Dieppe, was, it is held, the first Frenchman to take ships to Brazil ; to him is also ascribed the honour of having discovered Sumatra in 1529. Poet as well as sailor, he wrote in verse (1536) a "Description Nouvelle des Merveilles de ce monde". The foundation by Francis I in 1517 of the "French City" which afterwards became Havre de Grace, shows the importance which French royalty attached to the Norman coast. Normandy's maritime commerce was much developed by Henry II and Catherine de Medicis. They granted to the port of Rouen a sort of monopoly for the importation of spices and drugs arriving by way of the Atlantic, and when they came to Rouen in 1550 the merchants of that town contrived to give to the nearby wood the appearance of the country of Brazil "with three hundred naked men, equipped like savages of America, whence comes the wood of Brazil ". Among these three hundred men were fifty real savages, and there also figured in this exhibition "several monkeys and squirrel monkeys which the merchants of Rouen had brought from Brazil." The description of the festivities, which bore witness to active commercial intercourse between Normandy and America, was published together with numerous figures. After the Reformation religious wars interrupted the maritime activity of the Normans for a time. Rouen took sides with the League, Caen with Henry IV, but with the restoration of peace the maritime expeditions recommenced. Normans founded Quebec in 1608, opened markets in Brazil in 1612, visited the Sonda Islands in 1617, and colonized Guadeloupe in 1635. The French population of Canada is to a large extent of Norman origin. During the French Revolution Normandy was one of the centres of the federalist movement known as the Girondin. Caen and Evreux were important centres for the Gironde; Buzot, who led the movement, was a Norman, and it was from Caen that Charlotte Corday set out to slay the "montagnard" Marat. The royalist movement of "la Chouannerie" had also one of its centres in Normandy.

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Nélaton, Auguste

Famous French surgeon; born in Paris, 17 June, 1807, d. there 21 Sept., 1873. He made his ...

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Nève, Felix-Jean-Baptiste-Joseph

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Nîmes

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Nabo

( Septuagint, Nabau ). A town mentioned in several passages of the Old Testament, v.g., ...

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One of the Prophets of the Old Testament, the seventh in the traditional list of the twelve ...

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Nanteuil, Robert

French engraver and crayonist, b. Reims, 1623 (1626, or 1630) d. at Paris, 1678. Little is ...

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The capital of a province in Campania, southern Italy, and formerly capital of the Kingdom of the ...

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Emperor of the French, second son of Charles Marie Bonaparte and Maria Lætitia Ramolino, b. ...

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(Or NOEL ALEXANDRE). A French historian and theologian, of the Order of St. Dominic, b. at ...

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Or N ATHINEANS ( hnthynym , the given ones; Septuagint generally o‘i dedoménoi ...

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Navarrete, Martín Fernández

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Architecturally the central, open space of a church, west of the choir or chancel, and separated ...

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Nazianzus

A titular metropolitan see of Cappadocia Tertia. Nazianzus was a small town the history which is ...

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Neale, Leonard

Second Archbishop of Baltimore, b. near Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland, 15 Oct., 1746; ...

Nebo

( Septuagint, Nabau ). A town mentioned in several passages of the Old Testament, v.g., ...

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Necessity

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Neckam, Alexander of

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( Latin nec , not, and legere , to pick out). The condition of not heeding. More ...

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Nemore, Jordanus (Jordanis) de

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Nemrod

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The ethico-religious society founded by Pythagoras, which flourished especially in Magna ...

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Neocæsarea

A titular see, suffragan of Hierapolis in the Patriarchate of Antioch sometimes called ...

Neocæsarea

A titular see of Pontus Polemoniacus, at first called Cabira, one of the favourite residences ...

Neophyte

Neophyte ( neophytoi , the newly planted, i.e. incorporated with the mystic Body of Christ), a ...

Nephtali

(A.V., N APHTALI ) Sixth son of Jacob and Bala ( Genesis 30:8 ). The name is explained ...

Nepi and Sutri

Nepi and Sutri (Nepsin et Sutrin), united sees of the province of Rome, central Italy, in the ...

Nepveu, Francis

Writer on ascetical subjects, b. at St. Malo, 29 April, 1639; entered the novitiate of the ...

Nereus and Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancratius, Saints

The commemoration of these four Roman saints is made by the Church on 12 May, in common, and ...

Neri, Antonio

Florentine chemist, born in Florence ln the sixteenth century; died 1614, place unknown. We have ...

Neri, Saint Philip Romolo

THE APOSTLE OF ROME. Born at Florence, Italy, 22 July, 1515; died 27 May, 1595. Philip's ...

Nerinckx, Charles

Missionary priest in Kentucky, founder of the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross, born ...

Nero

Nero, the last Roman emperor (reigned 54-68) of the Julian-Claudian line, was the son of Domitius ...

Nerses I-IV

Armenian patriarchs. Nerses I Surnamed "the Great". Died 373. Born of the royal stock, he ...

Nerses of Lambron

Born 1153 at Lambron, Cilicia; died 1198; son of Oschin II, prince of Lambron and nephew of the ...

Nestorius and Nestorianism

I. THE HERESIARCH Nestorius, who gave his name to the Nestorian heresy, was born at Germanicia, ...

Netherlands, The

( German Niederlande ; French Pays Bas ). The Netherlands, or Low Countries, as organized by ...

Netter, Thomas

Theologian and controversialist, b. at Saffron Waldon, Essex, England, about 1375; d. at Rouen, ...

Neugart, Trudpert

Benedictine historian, born at Villingen, Baden, 23 February, 1742; died at St Paul's ...

Neum

(Latin, neuma, pneuma, or neupma, from Greek pneûma, a nod). A term in medieval ...

Neumann, Johann Balthasar

Born 1687 at Eger; died 1753 at Würzburg, master of the rococo style and one of the ...

Neumayr, Franz

Preacher, writer on theological, controversial and ascetical subjects, and author of many ...

Neusohl

Diocese of Neusohl (Hung. Beszterczebànya; Lat. Neosoliensis), founded in 1776 by Maria ...

Neutra

(Nitria; Nyitha) -- Diocese of Neutra (Nitriensis). Diocese in Western Hungary, a suffragan of ...

Nevada

A Western state of the United States , bounded on the North by Oregon and Idaho, on the East ...

Neve

Titular see of Arabia, suffragan of Bostra. Two of its bishops are known: Petronius, who ...

Nevers

(Nivernum) Diocese ; includes the Department of Nièvre, in France. Suppressed by the ...

Neville

(1) Edmund Neville ( alias Sales), a Jesuit, born at Hopcut, Lancashire, 1605; died in ...

New Abbey

The Abbey of Sweetheart, named New Abbey Pow, or New Abbey, in order to distinguish it, from ...

New Caledonia

VICARIATE APOSTOLIC New Caledonia, one of the largest islands of Oceania, lies about 900 miles ...

New Guinea

The second largest island and one of the least known countries of the world, lies immediately ...

New Hampshire

The most northerly of the thirteen original states of the United States, lying between 70°37' ...

New Jersey

One of the original thirteen states of the American Union. It ratified the Federal Constitution ...

New Mexico

A territory of the United States now (Jan., 1911) awaiting only the completion of its ...

New Norcia

A Benedictine abbey in Western Australia, founded on 1 March, 1846, by a Spanish Benedictine, ...

New Orleans

ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW ORLEANS (NOVÆ AURELIÆ). Erected 25 April, 1793, as the Diocese of ...

New Pomerania

New Pomerania, the largest island of the Bismarck Archipelago, is separated from New Guinea by ...

New Testament

I. Name ; II. Description ; III. Origin ; IV. Transmission of the Text ; V. Contents, History, ...

New Testament, Canon of the

The Catholic New Testament, as defined by the Council of Trent, does not differ, as regards the ...

New Year's Day

The word year is etymologically the same as hour (Skeat), and signifies a going, movement ...

New York (Archdiocese)

ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK (NEO-EBORACENSIS). See erected 8 April, 1808; made archiepiscopal 19 ...

New York (State)

One of the thirteen colonies of Great Britain, which on 4 July, 1776, adopted the Declaration of ...

New Zealand

New Zealand—formerly described as a colony—has, since September, 1907, by royal ...

Newark

(NOVARCENSIS) Diocese created in 1853, suffragan of New York and comprising Hudson, Passaic, ...

Newbattle

( Neubotle , i.e. new dwelling). Newbattle, in the ancient Diocese of St. Andrews, about ...

Newdigate, Blessed Sebastian

Executed at Tyburn, 19 June, 1535. A younger son of John Newdigate of Harefield Place, Middlesex, ...

Newfoundland

A British colony of North America (area 42,734 square miles), bounded on the north by the Strait ...

Newhouse, Abbey of

The Abbey of Newhouse, near Brockelsby, Lincoln, the first Premonstratensian abbey in England, ...

Newman, John Henry

(1801-1890) Cardinal-Deacon of St. George in Velabro, divine, philosopher, man of letters, ...

Newport (England)

(NEOPORTENSIS) This diocese takes its name from Newport, a town of about 70,000 inhabitants, ...

Newton, John

A soldier and engineer, born at Norfolk, Virginia, 24 August, 1823; died in New York City, 1 May, ...

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Ni 70

Niagara University

Niagara University, situated near Niagara Falls, New York, is conducted by the Vincentians. It ...

Nicéron, Jean-Pierre

A French lexicographer, born in Paris, 11 March, 1685, died there, 8 July, 1738. After his ...

Nicaea

Titular see of Bithynia Secunda, situated on Lake Ascanius, in a fertile plain, but very ...

Nicaea, First Council of

First Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, held in 325 on the occasion of the heresy of ...

Nicaea, Second Council of

Seventh Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, held in 787. (For an account of the ...

Nicaragua

(REPUBLIC AND DIOCESE OF NICARAGUA; DE NICARAGUA) The diocese, suffragan of Guatemala, is ...

Nicastro

(NEOCASTRENSIS). A city of the Province of Catanzaro, in Calabria, southern Italy, situated ...

Niccola Pisano

Architect and sculptor, b. at Pisa about 1205-07; d. there, 1278. He was the father of modern ...

Nice

(NICIENSIS) Nice comprises the Department of Alpes-Maritimes. It was re-established by the ...

Nicene Creed

As approved in amplified form at the Council of Constantinople (381), it is the profession of the ...

Nicephorus, Saint

Patriarch of Constantinople, 806-815, b. about 758; d. 2 June, 829. This champion of the orthodox ...

Nicetas

(NICETA) A Bishop of Remesiana (Romatiana) in what is now Servia, born about 335; died ...

Nicetius, Saint

A Bishop of Trier, born in the latter part of the fifth century, exact date unknown; died in ...

Niche

A recess for the reception of a statue, so designed as to give it emphasis, frame it effectively, ...

Nicholas Garlick, Venerable

Priest and martyr, born at Dinting, Derbyshire, c. 1555; died at Derby, 24 July, 1588. He ...

Nicholas I, Saint, Pope

Born at Rome, date unknown; died 13 November, 867. One of the great popes of the Middle ...

Nicholas II, Pope

(GERHARD OF BURGUNDY) Nicholas was born at Chevron, in what is now Savoy ; elected at Siena, ...

Nicholas III, Pope

(GIOVANNI GAETANI ORSINI) Born at Rome, c. 1216; elected at Viterbo, 25 November, 1277; died ...

Nicholas IV, Pope

(GIROLAMO MASCI) Born at Ascoli in the Rome, 4 April, 1292. He was of humble extraction, ...

Nicholas Justiniani

Date of birth unknown, became monk in the Benedictine monastery of San Niccoló del Lido ...

Nicholas of Cusa

German cardinal, philosopher, and administrator, b. at Cues on the Moselle, in the Archdiocese ...

Nicholas of Flüe, Blessed

(D E R UPE ). Born 21 March, 1417, on the Flüeli, a fertile plateau near Sachseln, ...

Nicholas of Gorran

(Or GORRAIN) Medieval preacher, and scriptural commentator; b. in 1232 at Gorron, France ; ...

Nicholas of Lyra

( Doctor planus et utilis ) Exegete, b. at Lyra in Normandy, 1270; d. at Paris, 1340. The ...

Nicholas of Myra, Saint

( Also called NICHOLAS OF BARI). Bishop of Myra in Lycia; died 6 December, 345 or 352. ...

Nicholas of Osimo

(AUXIMANUS). A celebrated preacher and author, b. at Osimo, Italy, in the second half of the ...

Nicholas of Strasburg

Mystic ; flourished early in the fourteenth century. Educated at Paris, he was later on lector ...

Nicholas of Tolentino, Saint

Born at Sant' Angelo, near Fermo, in the Hermits of St. Augustine -- a star above him or on his ...

Nicholas Owen, Saint

A Jesuit lay-brother, martyred in 1606. There is no record of his parentage, birthplace, date ...

Nicholas Pieck, Saint

(Also spelled PICK). Friar Minor and martyr, b. at Gorkum, Holland, 29 August, 1534; d. at ...

Nicholas V, Pope

(TOMMASO PARENTUCELLI) A name never to be mentioned without reverence by every lover of ...

Nichols, Venerable George

(Or NICOLLS). English martyr, born at Oxford about 1550; executed at Oxford, 19 October, ...

Nicholson, Francis

A controversial writer; b. at Manchester, 1650 ( baptized 27 Oct.); d. at Lisbon, 13 Aug., 1731. ...

Nicodemus

A prominent Jew of the time of Christ, mentioned only in the Fourth Gospel . The name is of ...

Nicodemus, Gospel of

(Or the Gospel of Nicodemus.) This work does not assume to have written by Pilate, but to have ...

Nicolò de' Tudeschi

("abbas modernus" or "recentior", "abbas Panormitanus" or "Siculus") A Benedictine canonist, ...

Nicolaï, Jean

Celebrated Dominican theologian and controversialist, b. in 1594 at Mouzay in the Diocese of ...

Nicolaites

(Also called Nicolaitans), a sect mentioned in the Apocalypse (ii,6,15) as existing in ...

Nicolas, Armella

Popularly known as "La bonne Armelle", a saintly French serving-maid held in high veneration among ...

Nicolas, Auguste

French apologist, b. at Bordeaux, 6 Jan., 1807; d. at Versailles 18 Jan., 1888. He first studied ...

Nicolaus Germanus

(Often called "Donis" from a misapprehension of the title "Donnus" or "Donus" an abbreviated form ...

Nicole, Pierre

Theologian and controversialist, b. 19 October, 1625, at Chartres, d. 16 November, 1695, at ...

Nicolet

(NICOLETANA) Diocese in the Province of Quebec, Canada, suffragan of Quebec. It comprises the ...

Nicomedes, Saint

Martyr of unknown era, whose feast is observed 15 September. The Roman Martyrologium and the ...

Nicomedia

Titular see of Bithynia Prima, founded by King Zipoetes. About 264 B.C. his son Nicodemes I ...

Nicopolis

A titular see, suffragan of Sebasteia, in Armenia Prima. Founded by Pompey after his decisive ...

Nicopolis

(NICOPOLITANA) Diocese in Bulgaria. The city of Nicopolis (Thrace or Moesia), situated at the ...

Nicopolis

A titular see and metropolis in ancient Epirus. Augustus founded the city (B.C. 31) on a ...

Nicosia

A city of the Province of Catania, in Sicily situated at a height of about 2800 feet above the ...

Nicosia

Titular archdiocese in the Province of Cyprus. It is now agreed (Oberhummer' "Aus Cypern" in ...

Nicotera and Tropea

(NICOTERENSIS ET TROPEIENSIS) Suffragan diocese of Reggio di Calabria. Nicotera, the ancient ...

Nider, John

Theologian, b. 1380 in Swabia; d. 13 August, 1438, at Colmar. He entered the Order of Preachers ...

Nieremberg y Otin, Juan Eusebio

Noted theologian and polygraphist, b. of German parents at Madrid, 1595; d. there, 1658. ...

Niessenberger, Hans

An architect of the latter part of the Middle Ages, whose name is mentioned with comparative ...

Niger, Peter George

(NIGRI, German SCHWARTZ) Dominican theologian, preacher and controversialist, b. 1434 at ...

Nigeria

A colony of British East Africa extending from the Gulf of Guinea to Lake Chad (from 4° 30' ...

Nihilism

The term was first used by Turgeniev in his novel, "Fathers and Sons" (in "Russkij Vestnik", Feb., ...

Nihus, Barthold

Convert and controversialist, b. at Holtorf in Hanover, 7 February, 1590 (according to other ...

Nikolaus von Dinkelsbühl

Theologian, b. c. 1360, at Dinkelsbühl; d. 17 March, 1433, at Mariazell in Styria. He ...

Nikon

Patriarch of Moscow (1652-1658; d. 1681). He was of peasant origin, born in the district of ...

Nilles, Nikolaus

Born 21 June, 1828, of a wealthy peasant family of Rippweiler, Luxemburg ; died 31 January, ...

Nilopolis

A titular see and a suffragan of Oxyrynchos, in Egypt. According to Ptolemy (IV, v, 26) the ...

Nilus the Younger

Of Rossano, in Calabria; born in 910, died 27 December, 1005. For a time he was married (or ...

Nilus, Saint

( Neilos ) Nilus the elder, of Sinai (died c. 430), was one of the many disciples and ...

Nimbus

(Latin, related to Nebula, nephele , properly vapour, cloud), in art and archaeology signifies ...

Nimrod

Also N IMROD ( nmrd of uncertain signification, Septuagint Nebród ). The name of ...

Ninian, Saint

(NINIAS, NINUS, DINAN, RINGAN, RINGEN) Bishop and confessor ; date of birth unknown; died ...

Nirschl, Joseph

Theologian and writer, b. at Durchfurth, Lower Bavaria, 24 February, 1823; d. at ...

Nisibis

A titular Archdiocese of Mesopotamia, situated on the Mygdonius at the foot of Mt. Masius. It is ...

Nithard

Frankish historian, son of Angilbert and Bertha, daughter of Charlemagne ; died about 843 or ...

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No 65

Noah

[Hebrew Nôah , "rest"; Greek Noah ; Latin Noah ]. The ninth patriarch of the ...

Noah's Ark

The Hebrew name to designate Noah's Ark, the one which occurs again in the history of Moses' ...

Noailles, Louis-Antoine de

Cardinal and bishop, b. at the Château of Teyssiére in Auvergne, France, 27 May, ...

Nobili, Robert de'

Born at Montepulciano, Tuscany, September, 1577; died at Mylapore, India, in 1656. He entered the ...

Noble, Daniel

Physician, b. 14 Jan., 1810; d. at Manchester, 12 Jan, 1885. He was the son of Mary Dewhurst and ...

Nocera

DIOCESE OF NOCERA (NUCERINENSIS) Diocese in Perugia, Umbria, Italy, near the sources of the ...

Nocera dei Pagani

(NUCERIN PAGANORUM; dei Pagani ="of the Pagans") Diocese in Salermo, Italy, at the foot of ...

Nocturns

( Nocturni or Nocturna ). A very old term applied to night Offices. Tertullian speaks of ...

Nogaret, Guillaume de

Born about the middle of the thirteenth century at St. Felix-en-Lauragais; died 1314; he was one ...

Nola

(NOLANA) Diocese ; suffragan of Naples. The city of Nola in the Italian Province of Caserta, ...

Nola, Giovanni Marliano da

Sculptor and architect, b., it is said, of a leather merchant named Giuseppe, at Nola, near ...

Nolasco, Saint Peter

Born at Mas-des-Saintes-Puelles, near Castelnaudary, France, in 1189 (or 1182); died at ...

Nollet, Jean-Antoine

Physicist, b. at Pimpré, Oise, France, 19 November, 1700; d. at Paris, 25 April, 1770. His ...

Nominalism, Realism, Conceptualism

These terms are used to designate the theories that have been proposed as solutions of one of the ...

Nomination

The various methods of designating persons for ecclesiastical benefices or offices have been ...

Nomocanon

(From the Greek nomos , law, and kanon , a rule) A collection of ecclesiastical law, the ...

Non Expedit

("It is not expedient"). Words with which the Holy See enjoined upon Italian Catholics the ...

Non-Jurors

The name given to the Anglican Churchmen who in 1689 refused to take the oath of allegiance to ...

Nonantola

A former Benedictine monastery and prelature nullius , six miles north-east of Modena ...

Nonconformists

A name which, in its most general acceptation, denotes those refusing to conform with the ...

None

This subject will be treated under the following heads: I. Origin of None; II. None from the ...

Nonnotte, Claude-Adrien

Controversialist; b. in Besançon, 29 July, 1711; d. there, 3 September, 1793. At nineteen ...

Nonnus

Nonnus, of Panopolis in Upper Egypt (c. 400), the reputed author of two poems in hexameters; ...

Norbert, Saint

Born at Kanten on the left bank of the Rhine, near Wesel, c. 1080; died at Magdeburg, 6 June, ...

Norbertines

(C ANONICI R EGULARES P RÆMONSTRATENSES ). Founded in 1120 by St. Norbert at ...

Norcia

(NORSIN). A diocese and city in Perugia, Italy, often mentioned in Roman history. In the ...

Norfolk, Catholic Dukes of

(Since the Reformation) Under this title are accounts only of the prominent Catholic Dukes of ...

Noris, Henry

Cardinal, b. at Verona, 29 August, 1631, of English ancestry; d. at Rome, 23 Feb., 1704. He ...

Normandy

An ancient French province, from which five "departments" were formed in 1790: ...

Norris, Sylvester

( Alias SMITH, NEWTON). Controversial writer and English missionary priest ; b. 1570 or ...

Norsemen

The Scandinavians who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, first ravaged the coasts of Western ...

North Carolina

One of the original thirteen States of the United States, is situated between 33° 53' and ...

North Dakota

One of the United States of America , originally included in the Louisiana Purchase. Little was ...

Northampton

(NORTANTONIENSIS) Diocese in England, comprises the Counties of Northampton, Bedford, ...

Northcote, James Spencer

Born at Feniton Court, Devonshire, 26 May, 1821; d. at Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, 3 March, ...

Northern Territory

(Prefecture Apostolic) The Northern Territory, formerly Alexander Land, is that part of ...

Northmen

The Scandinavians who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, first ravaged the coasts of Western ...

Norton, Christopher

Martyr ; executed at Tyburn, 27 May, 1570. His father was Richard Norton of Norton Conyers, ...

Norway

Norway, comprising the smaller division of the Scandinavian peninsula, is bounded on the east by ...

Norwich, Ancient Diocese of

(NORDOVICUM; NORVICUM). Though this see took its present name only in the eleventh century, ...

Notaries

( Latin notarius ). Persons appointed by competent authority to draw up official or authentic ...

Notburga

Jean-Baptiste Belgian statesman, b. 3 July, 1805, at Messancy, Luxemburg ; d. at Berlin, 16 ...

Notburga, Saint

Patroness of servants and peasants, b. c. 1265 at Rattenberg on the Inn; d. c. 16 September, 1313. ...

Nothomb, Jean-Baptiste

Jean-Baptiste Belgian statesman, b. 3 July, 1805, at Messancy, Luxemburg ; d. at Berlin, 16 ...

Notitia Dignitatum

(Register of Offices). The official handbook of the civil and military officials in the later ...

Notitia Provinciarum et Civitatum Africae

(List of the Provinces and Cities of Africa). A list of the bishops and their sees in the ...

Notitiae Episcopatuum

The name given to official documents that furnish for Eastern countries the list and hierarchical ...

Notker

Among the various monks of St. Gall who bore this name, the following are the most important: ...

Noto

(NETEN). Noto, the ancient Netum and after the Saracen conquest the capital of one of the ...

Notoriety, Notorious

( Latin Notorietas, notorium , from notus , known). Notoriety is the quality or the ...

Notre Dame de Montreal, Congregation of

Marguerite Bourgeoys, the foundress, was born at Troyes, France, 17 April, 1620. She was the ...

Notre Dame, School Sisters of

A religious community devoted to education. In the United Sates they have conducted parish ...

Notre Dame, Sisters of (of Cleveland, Ohio)

A branch of the congregation founded by Blessed Julie Billiart. In 1850, Father Elting of ...

Notre Dame, University of

(Full name is the University of Notre Dame du Lac ). Notre Dame is located in Northern ...

Notre-Dame de Namur, Institute of

Founded in 1803 at Amiens, France, by Bl. Julie Billiart (b. 1751 d. 1816) and ...

Notre-Dame de Sion, Congregation of

Religious institute of women, founded at Paris in May 1843, by Marie-Théodore and ...

Nottingham

(NOTTINGHAMIEN) One of the original twelve English dioceses created at the time of the ...

Nourrisson, Jean-Felix

Philosopher, b. at Thiers, Department of Puy-de-Dôme, 18 July, 1825; d. at Paris, 13 June, ...

Nova Scotia

I. GEOGRAPHY Nova Scotia is one of the maritime provinces of Canada. It forms part of what was ...

Novara

(NOVARIENSIS). A diocese and the capital of the province of Novara, Piedmont, Italy, noted ...

Novatianism

Novatian was a schismatic of the third century, and founder of the sect of the Novatians; he ...

Novatus, Saint

St. Novatus, who is mentioned on 20 June with his brother, the martyr Timotheus, was the son of ...

Novello, Blessed Agostino

(Matteo Di Termini), born in the first half of the thirteenth century, at Termini, a village of ...

Novena

(From novem , nine.) A nine days' private or public devotion in the Catholic Church to ...

Novice

I. DEFINITION AND REQUIREMENTS The word novice , which among the Romans meant a newly acquired ...

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Nu 19

Nubia

Located in North-eastern Africa, extending from Sennar south to beyond Khartoum and including the ...

Nueva Cáceres

(NOVA CACERES) Diocese created in 1595 by Clement VIII ; it is one of the four suffragan ...

Nueva Pamplona

(NEO-PAMPILONENSIS). Diocese in Colombia, South America, founded in 1549 and a see erected by ...

Nueva Segovia

(NOVAE SEGOBIAE) Diocese in the Philippines, so called from Segovia, a town in Spain. The town ...

Nugent, Francis

Priest of the Franciscan Capuchin Order, founder of the Irish and the Rhenish Provinces of said ...

Nugent, James

Philanthropist, temperance advocate and social reformer b. 3 March, 1822 at Liverpool ; d. 27 ...

Numbers, Use of, in the Church

No attentive reader of the Old Testament can fail to notice that a certain sacredness seems to ...

Numismatics

(From the Greek nomisma , "legal currency") Numismatics is the science of coins and of ...

Nun of Kent

Born probably in 1506; executed at Tyburn, 20 April, 1534; called the "Nun of Kent." The career of ...

Nunc Dimittis

(The Canticle of Simeon). Found in St. Luke's Gospel (2:29-32) , is the last in historical ...

Nuncio

An ordinary and permanent representative of the pope, vested with both political and ...

Nunez, Pedro

(Pedro Nonius). Mathematician and astronomer, b. at Alcacer-do-Sol, 1492; d. at Coimbra, ...

Nuns

I. ORIGIN AND HISTORY The institution of nuns and sisters, who devote themselves in various ...

Nuptial Mass

"Missa pro sponso et sponsa", the last among the votive Masses in the Missal. It is composed of ...

Nuremberg

(NÜRNBERG) The second largest city in Bavaria, situated in a plain on both sides of the ...

Nusco

(N USCANA ) Diocese in the province of Avellino, Italy, suffragan of Salerno ; dates from ...

Nussbaum, Johannn Nepomuk von

German surgeon, b. at Munich 2 Sept., 1829; d. there 31 Oct., 1890. He made his studies in the ...

Nutter, Robert, Ven.

English martyr ; b. at Burnley, Lancashire, c. 1550; executed at Lancaster, 26 July, 1600. He ...

Nuyens, Wilhelmus

Historian, b. 18 August, 1823, at Avenhorn in Holland ; d. 10 December, 1894, at Westwoud near ...

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Ny 4

Nyassa

Vicariate Apostolic in Central Africa, bounded north by the Anglo-German frontier, east by Lake ...

Nympha, Tryphon, and Respicius

Martyrs whose feast is observed in the Latin Church on 10 November. Tryphon is said to have ...

Nyssa

Vicariate Apostolic in Central Africa, bounded north by the Anglo-German frontier, east by Lake ...

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